Feedback by UserVoice

How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

Increase the 218 character filename length limit to open files in excel

Excel can't open files with full path lengths greater than 218 characters as documented in https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/213983. This is still a problem in Office 2016. It seems crazy that Excel can't open a valid file that the filesystem allows. People have been complaining about this since Office 2000. The thread below has over 11 thousand views and there are plenty others. Please fix this. http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2013_release-excel/sorry-unable-to-find/595333d0-1463-499f-967e-4da8ac2e2047

366 votes
Sign in
Check!
(thinking…)
Reset
or sign in with
  • facebook
  • google
    Password icon
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    Anonymous shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    109 comments

    Sign in
    Check!
    (thinking…)
    Reset
    or sign in with
    • facebook
    • google
      Password icon
      Signed in as (Sign out)
      Submitting...
      • CB commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        David....can you provide us with "when" the character issue will be resolved? Is it listed somewhere on MS Roadmap view that we can track?

      • Dinesh Kumar commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Below Sebastin's comment resolved my problem as well.

        Map the destination folder as Drive in your computer and rename the file to shorter name

        I have a way to solve: I map my own C drive as a mapped drive, but lower in the folder hierarchy.
        Map drive \\computername\c$\Users\Box_sync\Loooooooong_name so the path look smaller for exce

      • Mil commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks David, this issue has been faced by many for years and to hear this is finally going to be worked on is great news. Can you please provide a timeframe?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I haven't read all of the comments below, just the last few, but when I had this problem, re-saving the file in XLSX format allowed me to open the file.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @David, could you elaborate on what you have planned? Are you increasing limit or eliminating the header/identifier characters from the count? If increasing max characters then what is the new target limit? We are going through considerable effort to reduce file paths with our business users and the moving target is frustrating and delaying our efforts to migrate legacy data to Sharepoint Online.

      • Jon B commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        See, the problem is that lots of us have been using an existing file structure for years and gradually settled into some compromise of reasonably short file names and reasonably short nesting path structures, that fit into the (absurd) existing 218 character structure. But now lots of us are being pushed to go to OneDrive. If we do that, whatever folder structures we have now effectively get that OneDrive identifier nonsense (30-40 characters) appended to the start of each of our paths, and suddenly our carefully thought out file structures don't work anymore!! So all of us have to shrink our paths again, and that is why all of us are screaming.
        Come on. Add another 256 characters. (Or eliminate the limit altogether).

      • Vivienne commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        PLEASE NOTE: this issue is not limited to Excel. It effects all MS Office files.

      • Steven Reid commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This file length limit is also inconsistent with what is possible within Windows itself. They should be consistent.

      • Nicholas D. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft, what can you do to help your loyal customers?? This issue should have been fixed long ago, given the importance of cloud storage in today's world of remote business and collaborative working.

        The solution is clear: Windows needs to increase its 256-character length limit for file paths.

        It is a longstanding and widespread limitation of Microsoft Excel (just 218 characters, else a file cannot be opened) and other file types as well, albeit with 250+ in other cases.

        This problem affects users of not only Box, Dropbox, and a host of smaller cloud data storage providers, but it even affects your own product OneDrive:

        Live up to Satya's vision of a better Microsoft!

        https://community.box.com/t5/Box-Drive-Known-Issues-and/Windows-Specific-Known-Issues-nbsp-for-Box-Drive/ta-p/37355

        https://www.dropbox.com/help/syncing-uploads/files-not-syncing

        https://helpdesk.egnyte.com/hc/en-us/articles/201637074-Unsupported-Characters-and-File-Types

        https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_onedrivefb-mso_win10-mso_o365b/onedrive-for-business-pathfile-name-character/e82804af-fd79-476b-add3-1a36760886a8

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Like Mikelis, that's what we had to do - so now we have a bunch of cryptic Group names, which we will likely never undo. The funny thing is that it works fine on Macs... since they never had MAX_PATH. Like I said before, I spoke to some Office guys at Ignite, and they didn't have a clue about what I was talking about or that it was even a problem...

      • Mikelis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        For those in O365, for me this problem appeared for excel docs that where "deep" in folders. Only solution for now was to rename some folders with shorter names and review the necessity of so many levels of folders. Also we made the group names shorter, however that requires resyncing your downloaded files. To avoid redownloading - pause the sync, rename the main folders to the new shorter name and resume sync, should give option to sync only the name.

      ← Previous 1 3 4 5 6

      Feedback and Knowledge Base